Frequently Asked Questions and Their Frequently Given Answers
This page addresses questions across all types of work, in no particular order. If you don’t find your question here, it is likely answered on the relevant category page. If you’re still stumped, feel free to send me an email.
- If I live in or near the Tri-Cities, WA, can I talk with you in person about custom work?
- What image/design file formats do you accept?
- What is your average lead time?
- What do you cost?
- Do you charge sales tax, GST, or VAT?
- What payment methods do you accept?
- How do you ship packages?
If I live in or near the Tri-Cities, WA, can I talk with you in person about custom work? #
Certainly. I am generally only available in the evenings during the week, and may be able to meet on a weekend. Send me an email to give a brief idea of what you want to talk about and propose a time to meet. I also recommend reading the appropriate category page first to get an idea of what I do and would need to know.
What image/design file formats do you accept? #
SVG, EPS, or DXF are preferred as they’re easy to come by and most design programs can output to at least one of those three. However I can accept any vector file able to be opened by Inkscape (preferable) or CorelDRAW.
I can also engrave bitmaps (PNG or JPG/JPEG files) as long as they’re sufficiently large and not grainy or full of artifacts. For good bitmap image work you should have at least 600 pixels in width for every inch in the width of the intended output size and the same goes for the height. That is to say, a 2″ × 2″ graphic should have a bitmap at least as big as 1200 × 1200 pixels.Back to Top
What is your average lead time? #
This depends on many factors such as the complexity, materials, quantity, and shipping. However a good minimum is at least two to three weeks for production to give me time to fit any order into my schedule but this is a guideline, not a rule.
If you are unsure about all the details of your project, make sure to plan for some extra time to work those out with me. If we have to do iterations on the design, please plan for around a week per iteration. Shipping can add a few days within the US but take three to four weeks internationally, especially if it gets held up in customs. (See the Shipping & Customs section for more information on this.)
Given the above, I am very unlikely to take on jobs that require a fast turnaround time as I am already quite busy with existing commitments and I want to make sure I have time to do a good job on any orders I accept.
|Probable lead time for small orders|
What do you cost? #
This cannot be answered generally as every project will have a different requirements, complexity, materials, and time investment. I charge what is appropriate for my work, and while I am happy to help you find solutions that fit your budget, I will not haggle. Please contact me with your project requirements to get an estimate or quote of the project cost.
I do occasionally have fixed fees attached to projects, which I am upfront about, for design work, materials that overly smell or stink when cut or engraved, and jobs requiring rush processing.* I also have a minimum cost for custom work. Details are given below.
|Common Project fees & minimums|
|Minimum Cost (Small Projects):||$10|
|Rush Processing* Fee (Small Projects):||$5|
|Minimum Cost (Large Projects):||$25|
|Rush Processing* Fee (Large Projects):||$20|
|Stinky Material Fee (Production Run):||25¢ per finished piece|
* Rush processing is any order with no more than one to two week’s notice (within the US), depending on the complexity, or no more than three to four weeks notice for international orders.Back to Top
Do you charge sales tax, VAT, or GST? #
Where required, yes. Please see below.
As I am based in the state of Washington, I must collect sales tax on behalf of all Washington customers. I do not charge sales tax for wholesalers provided they can prove or I can verify they have a valid Washington Reseller’s Permit.
With the relatively recent court rulings on cross state sales tax collection, I may be required to collect sales tax on behalf of residents in other states. Even if I am not required, buyers may be obligated to pay a use tax on their purchase and should consult their state tax website for details.
Rest of the World
If you live outside the United States, I do not collect VAT or GST. Check your local laws to see what taxes, if any, you need to pay.Back to Top
What payment methods do you accept? #
I use PayPal for all orders but can accept credit/debit cards or cash for in person pick-ups. I may also accept checks for local orders, but please ask first.Back to Top
How do you ship packages? #
I ship all packages via USPS because it is easy for me and has worked well so far. This is amenable to change upon request with support of a good reason. I typically send smaller items without an explicitly tracked service. If you wish to pay for it, I can guarantee shipping with tracking.
Every package sent outside the US will have a customs form attached to it. Orders will be marked as merchandise. I will not mark orders as gifts. When possible I will also include an invoice with the customs form. Please let me know if you explicitly need an invoice by email (PDF) or with your package (printout).
Some packages due to their value, included quantity, or whims of the customs inspectors, may get hung up longer in customs. If there are things I can do to make this process go smoother, such as the correct words to describe items on customs forms, please let me know. However I will not lie or purposely misdescribe items.Back to Top